Knockout: Intel’s Woodcrest 3.0 GHz outclasses AMD’s Opteron

The Xeon Woodcrest

Intel will brand the Woodcrest processor for dual-socket systems with 5100 series numbers. We tested the fastest one – Xeon 5160 at 3.0 GHz. According to the roadmap known to tecCHANNEL, the June 2006 launch will include a lineup of the following processors: 5110 (1.66 GHz), 5120 (1.83 GHz), 5130 (2.00 GHz), 5140 (2.33 GHz), and 5150 (2.67 GHz). All these Xeons share a 4 MB L2 cache, but their front side bus differs – the Xeon 5110 and 5120 use a 1066 MHz FSB, while the faster Woodcrest chips have a 1333 MHz FSB.

The 5100 series Xeon chips for the Bensley & Glidewell platform use an LGA771 socket. The new server and workstation motherboards can also be fitted with the Xeon 5000 series Dempsey models. The Xeon 5070 at 3.46 GHz featuring NetBurst architecture has a TDP rating of 130W, compared to a TDP of just 80W for the 3.0 GHz 5160 Woodcrest. Intel rates the slower Woodcrest processors at 40 and 65W TDP.

Intel’s Woodcrest supports EM64T for 64-bit computing, a must for a new architecture. The Vanderpool technology’s VT-x instruction set achieves virtualization of these CPUs. A standard feature of the Xeon 5100s is the XD technology for enhanced protection against viruses and buffer overflows, supplemented by SpeedStep for dynamic lowering of the frequency and core voltage. However, the core architecture of Xeon chips lacks hyper-threading.

As opposed to the Dempsey Xeons, both Woodcrest processor cores are on a single die, whereas each Dempsey core has its own 2 MB L2 cache. Both the Woodcrest and Dempsey processors are built on Intel’s new 65-nanometer processing technology.

According to our roadmap, Woodcrest processors will be priced in 1,000-unit quantities from US$209 for the Xeon 5110 to US$851 for the top of the line model – Xeon 5160.

Details of the core architecture for Woodcrest processors are described in tecCHANNEL’s article Pole Position Change: Intel’s New Core Processors. In-depth information on the new Woodcrest platform is in the article, Brand New: Intel’s Xeon Platform - Bensley & Glidewell